Best Probiotics for Cats

Does your cat have digestive issues? You may be noticing that your cat is having issues with vomiting, diarrhea or excessive hairballs. Your feline pet may also be experiencing a decreased appetite. If any of these symptoms apply to your kitty then you may need to take steps to improve your pet’s digestive health. Read on to learn more about probiotics, what they are and how they can help your feline companion have a healthier, happier tummy.

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What are Probiotics?

Cats, just like their owners, need to have a healthy balance of bacteria in their digestive system in order to properly process their food. This is where probiotics come in. They are the “good” bacteria that reside in the digestive tract.

Believe it or not, they are actually live microorganisms that aid in digestion and help prevent diseases in the gastrointestinal system. Usually, the presence of these “good” bacteria occurs naturally. However, there can be circumstances that cause your cat to have a deficiency of bacteria which leads to the vomiting and other intestinal discomforts. This is where you can help by providing your cat with healthy probiotic supplements.

How do Probiotics Help Your Cat?

When your cat has intestinal issues such as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), probiotics can help to return the natural balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the digestive tract. IBD is a condition that cats can develop over time. It is often the result of cats continuing to eat “food” that doesn’t agree with them.

By adding probiotic supplements to your cat’s diet, it can improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and put an end to diarrhea. This is accomplished by reseeding the intestines with the right kind of bacteria.

What Kind of Probiotics Can You Give Your Cat?

There are two types of probiotics that have proven beneficial to cats. They are Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus. These large and difficult to pronounce words are simply different strains of bacteria that serve different purposes in your cat’s digestive processes.

Bifidobacterium usually hangs out in your cat’s small intestine and is heavily involved with digestion. The Enterococcus strain spends most of its time in the colon and assists with the healthy formation of feces and the maintenance of colon health.

While it is safe to give your cats probiotics that contain other strains of bacteria, it is important to note that cats have unique digestive needs as compared to humans or other pets, such as dogs. Cats are naturally designed to be carnivorous and live best on protein and fats.

Humans and dogs are designed to be omnivores and can add vegetables and fruits to their diets. So when you need to give your cats a probiotic supplement make sure you are giving them the proper strains of bacteria that will best support their digestive system.

What Else Do You Look For in a Probiotic?

When it comes to probiotics, it’s all about the CFUs. CFU refers to Colony Forming Units and the higher the number the better. This term refers to the ability of a probiotic to form and maintain its numbers once inside your cat’s digestive system. The more viable bacteria that exist in a probiotic, the better it will be for your cat’s health. By viable we mean the ability for these bacteria to grow and multiply inside your cat.

By ensuring that you have the proper strains of bacteria along with the optimal colony forming units in your cat’s probiotic supplement is the key to improving digestion.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Probiotics?

As a general rule, there are no serious risks or side effects associated with the use of probiotics for cats or any other pets. The biggest concern is that the supplement industry for pets is not very tightly regulated. This means that pet owners will need to do their homework to ensure they are giving their pets a quality supplement that is actually providing benefit.

In order to find the probiotic supplement that works best for your cat may require trying several different types. Not all supplements are going to work for all cats. Just because your neighbor’s cat is getting great results from a certain supplement does not guarantee any results for your pet. Consult with your veterinarian, do your research and try different options until you find the one that works best for your kitty.

So How Do You Get Your Cat to Take Probiotics?

You may be having nightmares about trying to get your pet’s to take medicines in the past. We’ve all tried hiding pills inside treats hoping to trick our cats into swallowing them. Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much.

When it comes to probiotics, you do have some options. If you opt to go with a pill form, then you may have to go with the “hide it in a treat” method. However, there are probiotic supplements that come in a powder form that allow you to sprinkle it over their normal cat food. Just like the process to find the right probiotic supplement, you may have to try several different forms of the supplement to see which one your cat will actually swallow.

How Do I Know Its Working?

This is an excellent question since you can’t actually see these tiny microorganisms that will be living inside your cat. The best way to determine if the probiotic is having any effect is a reduction in symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Contrary to some beliefs, these two conditions are not normal for your cat or any other household pet and should not be allowed to continue for prolonged periods of time.

Another indicator that the probiotic supplement is working is a reduction in hairballs. If your cat is coughing up hairballs more than twice a month, then there is a good chance your pet is experiencing digestive issues.

Finally, when you are cleaning out the litter box, you can gauge how well your cat is handling the new supplement. You should notice a reduced volume of feces as well as improved texture. Better digestion will lead to less waste and healthier colon function.

What Probiotic Supplements Options Are Available?

While there are a large number of probiotic supplements on the market, here are some of the better options available. Again, you may have to try several to find the one that works best for your pet.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Probiotic Cat Supplement Buy It

This Pro Plan dietary supplement from Purina is an excellent choice for cats suffering from diarrhea. Containing 500 million live microorganisms, this probiotic supplement provides a healthy dose of Enterococcus which is one of the two primary strains that do best with cats.

This supplement also promotes better digestion and a healthy immune system. Packing healthy amounts of antioxidant rich vitamins such as Vitamins C and E, Purina’s Pro Plan FortiFlora supplement will provide the extra nutritional support that your cat deserves. Just sprinkle the probiotic powder on your cat’s normal food and watch as your feline companion devours every morsel.

Pros

  • 500 million live microorganisms
  • Contains antioxidant rich vitamins C and E
  • Contains beta carotene
  • Contains large amounts of Enterococcus strain

Cons

  • Does not contain large amounts of Bifidobacterium

VetriScience Vetri-Mega Probiotic Digestive Health Dog & Cat Capsules Buy It

This capsule form probiotic supplement from VetriScience is a non-dairy supplement. It’s unique all natural formula contains a number of beneficial organisms designed to improve the digestive health of your cat. It improves digestion, helps with food intolerances, supports regularity and helps maintain a healthy immune system.

The Vetri-Mega Probiotic also assists with gas and bloating through the promotion of B Vitamins and healthy digestive enzymes. By supporting microflora balance in the skin and respiratory systems, VetriScience’s probiotic helps maintain better overall health for your cat.

Pros

  • Safe for Cats and Dogs
  • Improves Digestion
  • Supports regularity
  • Maintains a healthy immune system

Cons

  • Comes in Capsule form which may be hard for some cats to swallow

Animal Essentials Plant Enzyme & Probiotics Dog & Cat Supplement Buy It

Help your cat with improved digestion and the absorption of important nutrients with this probiotic supplement from Animal Essentials. This convenient powder formula gets none of its enzymes from animal sources. With a blend of plant based and microbial produced enzymes, your cat will benefit from improved digestive efficiency. This will also lead to less stress and anxiety for your pet.

You can sprinkle this powder over your cat’s normal food once a day for optimal digestive health and improved immune system function. Animal Essentials will help your cat break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins more efficiently than ever before. This will result in your cat getting the best possible nutrition from each and every meal.

Pros

  • Safe for Cats and Dogs
  • Convenient Powder Form
  • Improves Digestion
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Maintains a healthy immune system

Cons

  • May need to wet the powder in order to get optimal chance of your pet eating it

Finest for Pets TummyWorks Probiotics & Digestive Dog & Cat Supplement Buy It

Recommended by vets and made right here in the USA, this TummyWorks probiotic has a number of benefits for your pet. It will relieve gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and gas. It will also eliminate bad breath.

This digestive powder formula is all natural and features a unique blend of 10 probiotics, 6 digestive enzymes and a prebiotic. This recipe will restore gut health and replace bacteria that were lost due to antibiotic treatments. It will also boost immunity by protecting against germs and other diseases.

This probiotic supplement will also optimize digestion and improve health and energy. Your cat’s coat will also benefit from this TummyWorks supplement through reduced shedding, less itching and fewer hot spots. Arm your cat with a boosted immune system so that you can enjoy a long healthy relationship with your pet.

Pros

  • Safe for Cats and Dogs
  • Convenient Powder Form
  • Relieves Diarrhea and gas
  • Reduces shedding and itching
  • Improves Health and Energy
  • Maintains a healthy immune system

Cons

  • May need to wet the powder in order to get optimal chance of your pet eating it

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